We prepared the boat for the upcoming journey through the Chambly Canal with its numerous bridges and nine locks. Ropes and fenders had to be attached to both sides, lock procedures reviewed, gloves found and the camera placed in a readily accessible site. We talked to the Bridge Tender and observed other boats locking-through the first lock, Lock 9. We were ready!!
We also did a little fact search and found that the canal is 12 miles long, opened in 1843, allows boats to drop 80 feet in the 9 locks (eight of which are still manually operated) and is now operated by Parks Canada.
Everyone we encountered was helpful and courteous, giving us all the needed assistance and encouraging us on. We passed through the Bridge 12 opening and proceeded to enter Lock 9 where we bought our Seasonal Lock and Mooring Passes while waiting for our turn to lock-down. We managed to complete the process there successfully and traipsed on to Lock 8, about an 8 mile journey.
As we motored on we caught glimpses of the rushing river just over the former tow path (now used for bicyclers), cozy neighborhoods, corn fields and an intimate cemetery.
At lock 8 we watched them cram five boats into the lock for one transit then manually crank the gates shut.
By Lock 7 the wind was starting to blow and things got a little harder but we were blessed with great assistance from the Lock staff.
Locks 6, 5 and 4 were right in a row and their transit was made with much wind blowing and a few odd scraping sounds. From Lock 6 you could see all three back gates. Also note the neo-Queen Anne style Lockhouses at each gate
Locks 3, 2, and 1 are a prime example of “stair locks” and each lock opens directly onto the other, just like a staircase. When our locking through was finally completed, we tied up to their public wall for the night and set out to explore Chambly.
As we walked along we passed the recently restored Fort Chambly, the raging Chambly rapids and beautiful old British military homes built in the early 1800s. Music was wafting towards us from another live performance and folks were mulling around, enjoying the cool August evening.